Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Love Letter To My Body

On Black Friday 2011 Shameless Pin-ups and Glamour Portraits ran a contest for a free photo shoot. What did you have to do? Write a love letter to your body. I was mortified. I wanted another photo shoot but liking my body was never my thing. So I sat, and I thought, and I wrote. While I did not win, I still felt really great about what I wrote. After reading this article this morning, I wanted to share my letter and maybe ask for some of yours in return. First, comment on this article (yes the one I read today) to contribute to this awesome idea. And then comment on my post with your own letter. I want to see how many women we can get to take a look at themselves with pride!

So without further ado, the Love Letter to my Body:

"To be honest body, you and I have never truly seen eye to eye. In fact, I expect too much from you even when I am not doing my part. You and I should work together more often, because we are rumored to make a great team – in fact I wouldn’t be much of anything without you. In order to properly apologize I wanted to write you a letter spelling out the words that I seem to lose whenever I think of you – the words that I should never lose. While sometimes we may not get along, we have been through a lot together.  So part by part, it is time to appreciate you.

Feet, you grew before the rest of me did. As an elementary school kid with a size 10 foot, acting my shoe size was an appropriate saying. Without you feet, as I grew the rest of me would most likely tip over. Feet I have jammed you into heels that made you look fabulous but feel terrible and you have always kept me grounded. As my anchors, you have walked me through many hard times. You have felt the bottom of the ocean on the East and West Coast of the United States. You led me through the streets of Paris as a newlywed. On my 20th birthday you also read ‘Life is Beautiful’ when I remember first position from the days you graced ballet floors. You are the bottom of my pair of legs. These legs have picked you up and kept you moving when you were tired. In fact legs, you are deserving of some praise too. Sure calves I have cursed you for not fitting into every pair of boots that I have wanted to buy, but I can’t blame you for just wanting to breathe. I also decorated you with some artwork, it reminds me of a time I finally felt free and independent. You remind me how strong I am legs, for it is you that really keeps me standing. Even when my knees are weak from happiness or buckle under pressure, my Grade A American thighs never topple over. Those thighs lead into a torso which I don’t deserve to even speak to.

Torso, you have every right to be hurt over how I treat you. I am extremely hard on you and I don’t give you a lot of credit. But, you are just as strong and deserving of my love than my other body parts. Torso, you held up my wedding dress – that heavy strapless sensation of a gown that locked in with stern boning all around you. You did not fail me, or complain as you dazzled the evening showing off the gown that I married the man of my dreams in. My mother when I was young told me never to expect to fill out a bra – it just doesn’t run in our family. But to my surprise torso, you have graced me with some cleavage that I can be proud of. On the other side hides you back. You have never lied down to take any nonsense and you have always been there to have yourself. Even if a figurative knife has been jabbed into you once or twice, you have always healed and told my heart to follow suit. Shoulders, you carry the weight of the world atop of you but you always seem too proud to acknowledge this. I know this because my collar bone protrudes in only a way that prideful shoulders would let them. I notice these subtle details of character that you give me torso, and for that, I thank you. The arms that grow from these proud shoulders have hugged, have lifted and have been crossed. Arms, you are as animated as the stories I tell. You may not be as proudly pronounced as my shoulders, but you are fearlessly whacky. Whether you are flailing to loud music or resting at my sides, you also have the job of moving my hands Maybe we should have played piano hands, with your long delicate fingers we should have listened. Hands you are most likely the only part of myself that I would consider delicate. But hands, you do carry out all of the responsibilities when I write. My brain and you have always been on good terms while I blog or journal. Maybe one day we will carry out that novel I have been promising you. Without these limbs I wouldn’t be able to hold onto anything. I wouldn’t be able to create.

To top my ode to you off body I want to thank you for my face. Growing up as a girl on Long Island I was teased just like many other girls like me. Girls who grow in elementary school and then stop – so you are tall when everyone else is short, and short when everyone else is tall – know how this is. Most of the time, this also means acne, bushy eyebrows and a prolonged gooney phase while your parts are all trying to catch up with each other. For a long time face, you and I were at odds. But now, I have finally gown into you. Face your lips are scarred due to chance meeting between them and a coffee table at age six. But you healed into these full and shaped lips that line my mouth and can pull off any shade of lipstick. Don’t think I don’t notice you cheekbones. You are so high that when I part my lips to smile they make my eyes small crescent shape openings that never fail to sparkle. Eyes, you are a mahogany color that I totally always take for granted. You also give me sight. I have seen babies smile, the sun rise, and many momentous things that may seem small. Not every face has eyes with vision – we are one of the lucky ones. The nose on you face is adorned by a tiny jewel and allows everyone who looks at you know that we have some Irish in us. The ears on either side of you are small and lopsided. And nobody can deny that a great head of hair crowns you. Sometimes the hair on you is brown, but for now – we will keep it red.

All in all body we have been through it all together. We have seen a size 4 all the way to a size 14 backwards and forwards. Sometimes I hold this against you and put pressure on you to be a size you are clearly not at the moment – and I apologize. You are just responding to what we are going through at the time and I know that you are much more than the size you wear. In fact you are the shield to everything that keeps me working on the inside. Hopefully one day you will be what carries my future children. You amaze me body with everything I expect you to do and be even after how hard I am on you and where I take you. I want to feed you and treat you as well as I can – while still letting you have a little fun also. Body, you take me dancing, you hold the vocal chords that allow me to sing and speak my mind. You are covered in fair skin and you essentially hold my soul inside you.
We are lucky to have each other body, and truly, from the bottom of the heart that is inside you, I love you - for everything you have been, everything you can be, and for what we are together."

Submitted by Stephanie Coiro, Centereach NY